7 reasons why India needs Uniform Civil Code

We all know that India is a secular country, even our Constitution says so. But the question is ‘are we really secular?’ Let us first look at the meaning of this word. Secular country means when a country is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. But is it really the matter in India?

Let us look at the actual scenario with respect to personal laws in India. The laws are different for same matters in different religions. For example, there are differences in laws of marriage, divorce and even inheritance.

Thus we see that because of these diversities in the legal system there is no uniformity that prevails when it comes to personal laws.  The aim of this uniform code is to bring streamline in the personal laws and to ensure that the law treats every person equal irrespective of the religion it preaches and the sect it belongs. The proposed legislation is aimed at replacing personal laws of various communities on marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and maintenance.

Following are the reasons explaining why India needs UCC:

1.  It Promotes Real Secularism

What we have right now in India is selective secularism which means that in some areas we are secular and in others we aren’t. A uniform civil code means that all citizens of India have to follow the same laws irrespective of the religion they belong to. A uniform civil code doesn’t mean it will limit the freedom of people to follow their religion, it just means that every person will be treated the same. That’s real secularism.1

2. All Indians Should be Treated Same:

Right now we have personal laws based on particular religions. But, all Indians should be treated same. All the laws related to marriage, inheritance, family, land etc. should be equal for all Indians. This is the only way to ensure that all Indians are treated same.

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3. It will Give More Rights to the Women

A uniform civil code will also help in improving the condition of women in India. Our society is extremely patriarchal and misogynistic.  A uniform civil code will help in changing these age-old traditions that have no place in today’s society, where we do understand that women should be treated fairly and given equal rights.

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4. Sign of a Progressive Nation: 

A uniform civil code is the sign of modern progressive nation. It is a sign that the nation has moved away from caste and religious politics. While our economic growth has been the highest in the world our social growth has not happened at all. In fact it might be right to say that socially and culturally we have degraded to a point where we are neither modern nor traditional.

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5. Personal Laws Are a Loop Hole

The various personal laws are basically a loophole to be exploited by those who have the power. Our panchayats continue to give judgments that are against our constitution and we don’t do anything about it. Human rights are violated through honor killings and female foeticide throughout our country. By allowing personal laws we have constituted an alternate judicial system that still operates on thousands of years old values. A uniform civil code would change that.

6.  It Will Help in Reducing Vote Bank Politics

A uniform civil code will also help in reducing vote bank politics that most political parties indulge in during every election. If all religions are covered under the same laws, the politicians will have less to offer to certain minorities in exchange of their vote. Not having a uniform civil code is detrimental to true democracy and that has to change.

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7. It Will Integrate India:

A uniform civil code will help in integrating India more than it has ever been since independence. A lot of the animosity is caused by preferential treatment by the law of certain religious communities and this can be avoided by a uniform civil code. It will help in bringing every Indian, despite his caste, religion or tribe, under one national civil code of conduct.

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We applaud the initiative of government to bring such a change in India. What are your views?

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